Subspecialty Day of Action on Tuesday, October 9

The American Academy of Pediatrics will lead a Subspecialty Day of Action on Tuesday, October 9. This virtual Day of Action will give pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists across the country the opportunity to speak up for their specialties and the children they care for. By coming together on October 9, we will be able to speak with a unified voice on critical pediatric workforce shortages relevant to all pediatric subspecialties. There is a unique opportunity in the Senate to advance an important pediatric workforce priority that will help to address critical shortages of pediatric subspecialists. Congress is currently working to renew the Title VII Health Professions programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and there is an opportunity to reauthorize funding for loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists through that process. The AAP hopes to mobilize a large number of pediatric subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists to inform their senators about the important care provided by subspecialists and encourage them to support a reauthorization of loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists. This important program would ensure that pediatric subspecialists who treat children most in need are able to access loan repayment. This toolkit is designed to provide you with the information and resources you need to join the Day of Action on October 9. We encourage you to prepare, customize with information specific to your subspecialty or surgical specialty, and spread the word to others who would like to join us in this effort. We need every voice coming together to urge the Senate to support loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists. Thank you in advance for your help and we very much looking forward to speaking with one unified voice on October 9!

Children’s Health Care Coverage Fact Sheets

One of the Academy’s top advocacy priorities is ensuring children have access to high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique needs. The Academy is currently working at the state and federal levels to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to protect and strengthen Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

AAP, ACOG Presidents Urge US To Protect, Promote, Support Breast-Feeding.

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times (7/11) in response to the front page story titled “U.S. Delegation Disrupts Accord on Breast Milk,” Colleen Kraft, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Lisa Hollier, MD, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, write, “The discussions at the World Health Assembly reveal that mothers still lack the support they need to initiate and continue breast-feeding their infants.” Drs. Kraft and Hollier conclude, “As physicians who care for women and children, we urge the United States and every country to protect, promote and support breast-feeding for the health of all women, children and families.”

New AAP public service announcement on medication

As part of an ongoing series, the AAP has released its July public service announcement on safe medication storage.
Every year, more than 60,000 kids end up in the emergency room because they were able to access medicine when an adult wasn’t looking. In this public service announcement from the AAP, Dr. Shelly Flais explains how to protect children by safely storing medicine at home. Health care providers can share the PSA on practice websites or social media by using this code: <iframe width=”854″ height=”480″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>  The video is available for viewing on YouTube at And in addition to this PSA, has more information for parents on this topic.

Message from AAP President On Family Separation

A Message from AAP President Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP

Dear AAP Member:
Many media outlets are now reporting about children being separated from families as routine government practice at the southern border of the U.S. This policy contradicts everything we know about promoting and protecting children’s health.

Our 2017 policy statement, “Detention of Immigrant Children,” urges that separation of a parent or primary caregiver from his or her children should never occur, unless there are concerns for the safety of the child at the hand of the parent. The Academy’s position opposing family separation stems from the serious health consequences that this practice has on children.

As AAP president, I visited the border recently with other pediatricians and saw firsthand the devastating impact that family separation has on children. One image will last with me forever. A toddler girl I met at a shelter for unaccompanied children was crying uncontrollably; her face was bright red. She was inconsolable and wanted her mother who was separated from her when they crossed the border together. She needed the warm touch of her mother’s hand or her soothing voice. I felt helpless.

I shared this story in an op-ed I published in the Los Angeles Times after the visit.

In early 2017 when a policy of separation was being contemplated, AAP spoke out and the policy was abandoned. In December when the policy was once again floated, the AAP was on-the-record, strongly opposing the practice for its detrimental health impacts on children. In fact, we wrote to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) numerous times expressing our opposition and urging the agency to end the practice immediately.

Our advocacy has not wavered since then. When the policy was formalized in early May, we immediatelyspoke out, and we continue to pursue a multi-faceted advocacy strategy to give these vulnerable children and families a voice.

This is a child health issue. When children are separated from their parents, it can cause irreparable harm to their health. Highly stressful experiences, such as family separation, can disrupt the building of children’s brain architecture. Prolonged exposure to serious stress – toxic stress – can harm the developing brain and harm short- and long-term health.  Family separation robs children of the buffer that a parent or caregiver provides against toxic stress.

The AAP’s position has been amplified across state and national media outlets, and individual pediatricians have written in their local newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle and Winston-Salem Journal just this week. Members of Congress have also referenced AAP’s position when affirming their own opposition to separation. Many of you joined our Day of Action to Protect Families days before the practice became policy.

Yesterday, the AAP was one of 540 organizations to send a letter to DHS, calling for the agency to end the policy immediately.

Your voice is critical to our efforts opposing family separation. Please consider contacting your members of Congress and telling them to urge DHS to end the separation of children and parents immediately. To email your federal legislators with this message, please visit the AAP’s federal advocacy website. On June 14, there will be marches, vigils, and rallies taking place across the country. To find an event in your state, please see thiswebsite.

I want to thank you for the calls and emails you have sent. Please know I share your outrage and that as child health experts, we will continue to oppose family separation and other threats to child health at every turn.


Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP
President, American Academy of Pediatrics


American Academy of Pediatrics, 345 Park Boulevard, Itasca, IL, 60143 – 800/433-9016

New Fact Sheet Addresses Juul E-cigarettes

Juul are a new type of e-cigarette that are highly popular among teens. These devices have doubled the nicotine content of other e-cigarettes, so they are highly addictive. Juul has been receiving increased media attention because these devices look like flash drives and are being used in schools. The AAP has created a fact sheet to help clinicians, parents and educators identify and address “Juuling” with patients, teens and students.  Visit the AAP Richmond Center to download the fact sheet.

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10, for a CHIP Day of Action and tell Congress to fund CHIP long-term immediately.

Yesterday marked 100 days since Congress has failed to extend long-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10, for a CHIP Day of Action and tell Congress to fund CHIP long-term immediately.

Congressional inaction has created a dire situation for children, families and state legislatures.

Congress passed short-term funding for the program in December, but it falls far short from providing the stability that families and states need. Inadequate, patchwork funding is not the answer.

States have started to notify families that they may not have a source of coverage should Congress fail to enact a long-term extension of CHIP funding, and several states have started to use funds meant to operate the program to start shutting it down.

Congress must pass a spending bill to avert a federal government shutdown by January 19. As part of that vote, we are urging lawmakers to take immediate action and extend CHIP funding for five years.

How to Join Tomorrow’s Day of Action:

  1. Call your members of Congress. We’ve included the DC Office phone numbers for your members of Congress below as well as talking points to help guide your call. You can also email your legislators here.
  2. Share messages on social media using #SaveCHIP. The AAP’s newly-updated CHIP Advocacy Toolkit has sample messages.
  3. Encourage others to join you. The AAP is joining with several other children’s health and advocacy groups for tomorrow’s Day of Action. The more voices joining together at the same time with the same message, the most likely Congress will be compelled to act.

As a reminder, the AAP’s CHIP Advocacy Toolkit includes all of this information and more, such as CHIP state fact sheets, information on state of play and social media graphics. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to speaking up for children and families who rely on CHIP!

Rep. Don Young (R) (202) 225-5765  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) (202) 224-6665  Sen. Daniel Sullivan (R) (202) 224-3004

Talking points

  • Hello. I am pediatrician from {your state} and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am calling today to urge {U.S. Senator’s name/U.S. Representative’s name} to pass legislation immediately that would extend current funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years and maintain the bipartisan history of the program.
  • CHIP funding expired over 100 days ago. Now, families are facing uncertainty and entering the new year without knowing if their children will have health care coverage.
  • The short-term solutions Congress has offered so far do not give families the relief they needso that their children can access care, and also fail to address states’ funding concerns. States and families need stability.
  • Because CHIP funding has not been extended, states have been forced to make difficult choices as they question the future of their CHIP programs. Actions include sending notices to families that they may not be able to rely on CHIP for more than another month or two. Already several states are using funds meant to operate the program to begin the process of shutting it down.
  • It doesn’t have to be this way. CHIP is a bipartisan success story. The program was created in 1997 and has been championed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle since its creation.
  • Nearly 9 million children across the country are enrolled in the program. CHIP stands on the shoulders of Medicaid to cover children in working families who are not eligible for Medicaid and lack access to affordable private coverage.
  • The program is designed around what children need. It offers benefits that are age-appropriate, including dental coverage and mental health and substance abuse services, which may not be covered by a family’s employer-sponsored insurance.
  • CHIP plans include networks of pediatricians, pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, and children’s hospitals, which are especially critical for children with special health care needs.
  • Please extend current CHIP funding for five years immediately. Inadequate, patchwork funding is not the answer. As families begin a new year, they must be reassured that their children will not go a single day without health care coverage.
  • Thank you for all you do for children!